The Multipurpose Baltika – unique capabilities with oblique ice-crushing hull

Lamor Corporation 27 January, 2015

Baltika will be operated by FGI Gosmorspassluzhba, the Russian Marine Emergency Rescue Service. She is one of four icebreaking salvage vessels currently under construction for Russia.

The multipurpose icebreaker Baltika leaving Helsinki shipyard NB_508_26012 Baltika Icebreaker

Photos: Arctech Helsinki Shipyard


The multipurpose Baltika

In case of an oil spill, the vertical side of the asymmetric hull can be used as a large sweeping arm that guides oil floating on the surface to a Lamor built-in skimmer as the vessel moves obliquely through the oil slick.

“The Baltika is intended for icebreaking, emergency and rescue operations coupled with OSR tasks. The advanced Lamor inbuilt oil recovery system (LORS) is suitable for operations in heavy seas. The vertical side of the hull is utilized as a sweep arm, and when the vessel moves forward obliquely (sideways) through oil spills, the oily water is guided through a hull hatch to the brush skimmers and tank compartment,” says Lamor’s Project Manager, Lars Snellman.


Flexible solutions and maneuvers

One of its unique features is the patented icebreaking solution, ARC 100 concept, which was developed by Aker Arctic Technology specifically for the Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. The ARC 100 features the oblique design with an asymmetric hull and three Steerprop pulling azimuth propulsors that allow the vessel to maneuver effectively in all directions.

“The azimuth thruster is a configuration of ship propellers placed in pods that can be rotated on the horizontal plane, making a rudder unnecessary giving vessels better maneuverability than with a fixed propeller and rudder system,” says Snellman.

“Moreover the propulsors are a mechanical device that gives propulsion and implies a mechanical assembly that is more complex and innovative than a regular fixed propeller, thus known as the azimuth propulsors,” he notes.

The oblique icebreaker is exceptionally flexible to operate and can be steered to move ahead, astern, sideways and turn on the spot in ice, which is a unique and technologically advanced innovation.


Cluster of knowledge

Arctech signed the approx. EUR 76 million shipbuilding contract for Baltika with Shipyard Yantar (a USC company) in Kaliningrad, who has contract with the Russian Ministry of Transport.

“The blocks of the vessel were built by Shipyard Yantar and were transported to Finland for basic and detail design, hull assembly, outfitting, finalizing, optimization and commissioning at our shipyard in Helsinki,” says Arctech Helsinki Shipyard’s Esko Mustamäki, Managing Director.

Lamor is committed to providing the most advanced OSR equipment worldwide. “We continue to forge ahead with our OSR equipment. That said, there is lots of in-depth detailed planning together with the ship builder of a multipurpose vessel. This takes time and testing for the best results coupled with optimization in the final phase. Moreover, we provide the necessary training and commissioning of the equipment. It is a cluster of knowledge that comes together when building this type of unique vessel,” highlights Lamor’s Juha Muhonen, VP Baltics and Finland.


Oblique and unique

The hull form of Baltika (formerly NB 508) has a unique design and can proceed in 1.0 meter thick ice ahead and astern. In the oblique mode Baltika will be able to forge a 50 meter wide ice-channel in 0.6 meter thick ice.

Baltika is equipped with a helideck suitable to manage a Kamov Ka 32 helicopter and a workboat for oil boom handling. Mustamäki explains further: “She also has a knuckle boom type offshore crane (25 tons) for moving loads and handling of the workboat.”

“Moreover, the oil recovery sweeping width has a 50 meter reach. The electric power plant onboard consists of three main diesel generator sets with a total power of 9.0 MW,” says Mustamäki.


More to come

“There is demand for innovative icebreaking vessels in the Russian market. This rescue vessel represents a totally new technology, which enables its versatile use in the Gulf of
Finland and it is designed in accordance with the highest international and Russian requirements and standards,” highlights Mustamäki.

“We signed a contract this year for the building of three icebreaking stand-by vessels and one icebreaking supply vessel for Russia´s largest shipping company Sovcomflot. The vessels will be built for the North East Sakhalin Offshore region oil and gas field where they will serve the operator of Sakhalin-2,” Mustamäki highlights.

“The new icebreaking stand-by vessels are designed for stand-by and rescue duties and for oil spill recovery. They can also be used as supply vessels for cargo transfer e.g. for low flashpoint fuels. The vessels measure 95 m in length and 22 m in breadth,” he says.
“That said, also the Finnish Transport Agency has procured a new icebreaker to refurbish the aging fleet of state-owned icebreakers and to improve the level of icebreaker services and to ensure the competitiveness of Finnish exports,” he notes.

The new order for the Finnish Transport Agency, valued at EUR 123 million, will be delivered by winter 2016. “The new icebreaker features the highest and most technologically advanced solutions that is designed and customized specifically for the demanding icebreaking operations in the Baltic Sea. It will be able to move continuously through about 1.6 m thick level ice, to break a 25 meter wide channel in 1.2 meter thick ice at a speed of 6 knots, as well as to reach 9-11 knots of average assistance speed in the Baltic Sea. In open water the service speed will be minimum 16 knots,” says an enthusiastic Mustamäki.

The vessel will also be equipped for oil spill response operations and emergency towing missions. “We are proud to partner with Arctech, the makers of the most advanced multipurpose ice-breakers worldwide. Lamor will deliver a built-in oil recovery system LORS-D 9, which is capable of handling both heavy and light viscous oils,” says Muhonen.

Muhonen continues “When we signed this agreement with Arctech, we simultaneously got the option to fit the next four icebreakers on order that will also be delivered to Russia with our inbuilt OSR systems.”

“These multipurpose icebreakers are truly very impressive and we will continue to develop further our OSR equipment and efficiencies. I do want to highlight that continuous training and exercises are fundamental in order to tackle any type of oil spill rapidly and effectively. Having the best equipment, experienced operators and trained responders is the crucial mix for success,” he concludes.


Technical Data of Baltika
Length 76.4 m
Length in waterline 72.1 m
Breadth maximum 20.5 m
Draught, at design waterline 6.3 m
Dead weight at design draught 1150 t
Installed power 9.9 MW
Propulsion power 7.2 MW
Speed 14 knots
Speed at 1.0 m level ice 3.0 knots
Crew 24
Special personnel 12
GT 3800
Cargo deck 380 m
Range 20 days
Classification RMRS
Class notation: KM Icebrreaker 6, [1], AUT1-ICS, OMBO, FF3WS, EPP, DYNPOS-1, ECO-S, Oil recovery ship (>60⁰C), Salvage ship, Tug crushing with OSR equipment